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Season of Giving…. but Give Responsibly

Yesterday I wrote about my struggle with the Interfaith Food Ministry Food Challenge which resulted in my decision to donate money to the ministry. At the end I implied that if a person had the means and inclination to help someone in need to do so.

Today, I am compelled to remind you to give responsibly and not randomly or impulsively to someone with a hand out.

Coincidentally- yesterday, later in the day while doing my work, I discovered a familiar individual in the community was picked up on warrants. I immediately recognized the name, Grant,  and face as someone who I have seen on the streets numerous times. Each contact with the individual has been the same…

Bandy,-Grant1Grant is a white male, early 20’s, wearing a ball cap, and light reddish facial hair. He approaches with a wave and smile… he has even waved down slow moving cars near intersections and business driveways… and then the story begins…

“I’m on my way from (choose one: Oregon, up north, Redding, Reno, Oroville, Chico,  or make up a location outside of the area) to Sacramento with my (choose any combination of the following: myself; wife; baby)…I just ran out of gas… my (wife; baby) are  in the car…do you have a few dollars for (choose one or more: gas, food, a room)…”

This story has been repeated multiple times… in multiple locations…with a number of different scenarios attached… but all similar…

However, Grant is relentless… he denies ever seen me before when confronted about approaching me multiple times. He is quite convincing the first time he meets a “victim”.  He has taken money from multiple people I know

So…that being said…  I applaud those that are generous and able to support those in need… but please know to whom you are donating money. It is safer to donate to reputable organizations that provide shelter, services, and food to those in need than a random person on the street.

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